City Council is considering changes to Chapter 15 of the city's code relating to animal welfare, specifically rules regarding tethering of dogs. Staff believes this ordinance can help educate pet owners as to what is good for their animals in order to appropriately regulate their own tethering practices. Council can consider broadening the scope of the ordinance to apply to all companion animals (cats, pot belly pigs, etc.).
A second matter to consider is the duration of tethering. Dogs tied up outside for long periods of time can develop aggressive behaviors. Therefore, staff recommends the tethering duration not to exceed 60 continuous minutes more than four times in a 24-hour period. Leaving a dog outside and alone for more than 60 minutes is what would violate this ordinance.
Council may also wish to consider limiting the time of day that a dog may be tethered. Some jurisdictions prohibit the tethering of dogs after 10:00 p.m. and before 6:00 a.m. This would help the complaints about dogs barking at night.
Current city ordinances in Chapter 15 Section 2 provide for the condition of the premises where animals are kept and define cruelty to animals in relation to food, drink, sheltering, and emergency veterinary attention. The proposed changes define how a dog can be tethered, adequate space, and duration of time.
A public hearing on this topic will be held at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 26.